What if another big storm hits Texas next week?

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As I write these words on the afternoon of Friday, September 3, the people I’m watching on the Weather Channel at the same time are discussing the chances of a new hurricane named  Irma slamming into the Gulf Coast of Texas late next week.

Irma is forecast to become a scary Category 4 storm when it reaches full strength. That likely would make it a strong semblance of Hurricane Harvey, which wreaked terrible calamity this week in various locales in Eastern Texas, especially in Houston.

But even if Irma doesn’t show up in the Lone Star State this time and heads off elsewhere, the mere possibility that two separate and comparably horrible storms could have ravaged one area in a span of two weeks should spur expanded serious examination of the possible causes of this phenomenon.

Much to my surprise, I surmise from my reading that there’s no easy answer as to whether Harvey or Irma have been spawned specifically by climate change. But neither can I rule it out. Hurricanes have been around for centuries, and the causes of them are varied.

But the horror of Harvey — coupled so soon with the threat of Irma  — might well arouse greater public interest in further scientific research into the causes of these storms.

I trust that such research would dismiss early on the theories advanced by certain religionists or by crackpots who scoff at almost everything scientific. But there’s much for the public to learn from the consensus among legitimate professionals as to how — and, most importantly, why — these storms arise.

We already know that hurricanes have become bigger, wetter and more frequent as this planet’s climate has become warmer. But there’s lots more to study and learn. Eventually, we may come up with ways to diminish the power and frequency of storms like Harvey and Irma.




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